North York Moors CAM

 

Thursday 8th March 2001

Weather: Fair and mild

Today's walk: Warrenby - South Gare - Coatham

( 6 miles )


As most of you are probably aware, there has been an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease amongst livestock in the UK
- this has led to severe restrictions for lovers of the countryside where access to thousands of miles of public footpaths
over both farmland and open moors has been prohibited by the Government to try to stop the disease from spreading further

Of course, I will be obeying the law, but I will try to make the best of wherever I can still go to take photographs . . .

Today we'll take a look at a couple of greatly contrasting industries on Teesside . . .

 

Our walk begins with a view of the steelworks near the village of Warrenby, close to the seaside town of Redcar

Warrenby has seen prosperity come and go over the centuries - it is now a sad, run-down sort of place
consisting of little more than a couple of scrapyards and a few small industrial units and delapidated buildings
Not that long ago, though, it was a thriving community with mass employment at both the steelworks
and the nearby chemical works of ICI Wilton

 

As we continue along the rough road towards the steelworks we see clear evidence of a much earlier industry
- in the 12th century these ponds and marshes were once busy places
They were the salt mines of the Augustinian monks who came from Guisborough Priory, five miles further inland

 

In the 19th and 20th Centuries the marshes and dunes became little more than a tipping ground for the steelworks
- large lumps of furnace clinker and slag mar the landscape although it must be said that
the local authorities have now placed restrictions and are trying, with success, to convert the area into a nature reserve

It was near these dunes, centuries ago, that Cleveland people made the last stand in England against William the Conqueror
- their defences were enclosed by marsh and sea and approached by a causeway.
William and his army lost their bearings when a sea-fret (fog) came down - apparently William was just saved from drowning.
Three years later he again marched on the area and wiped out the population

 

These days, the steelworks dominate the skyline

 

After passing the works we reach the sand dunes on the south side of the mouth of the River Tees

 

Taking advantage of today's lowish tide we can visit and explore the exposed remains of an old wreck

Clearly prominent across Teesmouth is the Hartlepool Nuclear Power Station

 

From here we walk along the debris scattered beach towards the three tiny, sheltered harbours of . . .

 

. . . Sand Hole . . .

 

. . . Guy's Hole . . .

 

. . . and best known of all . . .

 

. . . Paddy's Hole

All three are a fascinating collection of brightly painted boats and ramshackled fishermen's huts

 

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A little further on is the RNLI Station - everything about the place is immaculate

Before leaving we made sure we left a well-deserved donation

 

Here we look back to the RNLI Station, the Pilot Boat jetty and further beyond, the huge cranes on Tees Dock

 

 

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From South Gare we head back south along the golden sands to Coatham as Luke enjoys a rest - not like him!

 

A couple of miles further on we reach Coatham, many years ago, before Teesmouth, it was a big port

- there's no sign of that anymore, but nowadays the favourite recreations are windsurfing . . .

 

. . . horse-riding . . .

 

. . . and golf

 

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On the way back to the car we see evidence of the past - the quaint, old fishermen's cottages

 



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